Minutes of an extra unscheduled meeting held at 7.30pm on 28th April 2016 at the Hilton Centre in accordance with rule three on page eight of the handbook and rule two on page three.

Present: Messrs. Barker, Bradshaw, Caswell (Chair), Chauhan, Turban (Nomads A), Mrs Smart and there were four ‘postal’ reports and votes.

The meeting was to discuss a complaint made by a team in the Premier division against another team for having a hidden agenda in losing to another team in the last match of the season thereby resulting in the complainant's team being second from the bottom instead of third. A long discussion took place and an anonymous vote taken. There were 8 votes for no action to be taken and one abstention. The acting chairman reserved his in case of a tied vote. The two main reasons were as follows:

(1)  All the players had given explanations as to why they did not play on the night showing that on the face of it, the team did have difficulties that night. It seemed odd that the Secretary had not given a simple explanation as to the problem, preferring instead to challenge the validity of the complaint under the rules. However, the team player’s statements were accepted as a reason why no further action should be taken.

(2)  There was a wider discussion on the viability of altering results and tables acting on any team’s claim that a team had deliberately lost. It was mentioned that while the vast majority of teams and players play to win, there have been other occasions where a team or teams had had a hidden agenda in losing as they did not want to be promoted for example. In any hypothetical case where a team had any hidden agenda to lose, while this was to be deplored as bad sportsmanship, there was no rule to be broken. While it is easy to prove that a team had won by breaking a certain rule, proving that any team had lost on purpose would be so subjective that this would open a can of worms for any future Committee to deal with. Everyone including ‘postal’ reports had expressed their sympathy with the team’s situation. However, for the future smooth running of the league interfering in results or tables was not desirable and this was another reason why no action should be taken. There was also a re-occurring statement to the effect that teams have twenty-two weeks over a season to establish their position in the division.

Other points raised:

·       Unfortunately the whole case had been overshadowed by a press report which the press officer had posted on the web site, although it had been refused by the Bolton News. The Press Officer had since resigned and the Committee had confirmed that it was for the best that he stepped aside. If anyone had inspired the Press Officer to write the said article knowing that there was to be an official complaint in the pipeline, then this was deplored and should never have happened. As soon as the General Secretary had become aware of the situation he had promptly removed it.

·       Although we had had a preliminary email of the intention to write a complaint, giving reasons within the seven day period, the main complaint had clearly not come through from the team mate’s email until the 8th calendar day. This had led to numerous unnecessary emails on the validity of the complaint. Did the first email count or did it not?

·       After the decision had been made all texts and emails received from the subject of the complaint were then read to the meeting for completeness. The meeting remarked on the General Secretary’s patience in dealing with them. He said that it had not been easy. He had email and text phobia.

The complete file will be passed to the Lancashire Association in the event of an appeal.

All matters relating to or arising from this complaint in any way are now closed as far as the Bolton League is concerned.

The acting Chairman thanked all for attending and wished them all a pleasant summer.

The meeting closed just after 8.30pm.

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